- Buy Broken Truth
The truth, no matter how broken... may be the only thing that sets them both free.
"Mia." His voice softens and as much as I want to give in and fall into his lap, I won't.
"Is there something you need, Brady? Pretty sure I didn't invite you into my space." I blink, willing my face not to give away how I really feel.
He closes his eyes and sighs. "Let me help you."
"No. Now leave—please." I push out of my chair and move around the desk to the door. Wrapping my fingers around the doorknob, I steel my features and pull it open.
Brady doesn't respond at first, but I watch as he finally pushes up and steps in front of me. "I can help you—if you'd just give me a chance to make things right with us."
I snort at his words. "Us? Brady, there is no us. You made sure of that five years ago… remember? Or do I need to remind you how you ripped my heart out and stomped it into the ground?"
"Are you saying you can't forgive me? Because I can't tell you how sorry I am for what happened. But there's so much you don't know—you don't understand." He palms the back of his neck, looking at me with a broken expression. For a minute, I want to tell him I still love him, but I don't.
"Well… when one's heart is completely obliterated—typically there is no coming back from that. So, forgive you? No. I don't think I can, Brady. Because it took you less than twenty-four hours to ruin me for any kind of relationship ever again." I give a sarcastic laugh and glare at him. "Funny thing is… you got what you wanted. And I got destroyed. Get out." I motion toward the hallway. "If I need help, I'll call one of the guys."
Brady steps out into the hallway. He turns to say something, but I slam the door in his face. Pounding my fists into the wood, I scream into the empty office. Why does my life have to be so fucked up? I want to punch someone—maybe I should invite Brady back into the office. I can take my pent-up anger out on him.
Sitting back at my desk, I pick up my phone and stare at the black screen. As much as I resent my sister, I still love her. If her crack-head boyfriend was really murdered, Melanie might be in trouble. I need some answers and asking Brady would be the logical thing to do, but I'm not ready to ask him for help.
Waking the screen, I scroll through and pause. Hovering my finger over the contact I know will probably piss Brady off, I hesitate. I shouldn't care about Brady, but I don't want to deal with him right now. Thumbing the contact, I pressed the device to my face and sigh.
"Hey pretty lady." Chris's voice fills the line.
I blow out a breath. "Hey. Look, I need some help with something. You got some time to come by?"
"Whoa. This sounds serious—what's going on Mia?" Chris's tone becomes laden with concern.
"I don't want to talk about it over the phone. Please, Chris? I wouldn't call you if it wasn't serious. But there's something else."
"Why do I feel like I won't like this part?"
"You can't tell Brady. I can't deal with him right now and I'd like to keep this between us for now."
Chris lets out a groan. "Seriously? You know he fucking goes ape shit when anyone talks to you, and you want me to keep this from him? Fuck, Mia. I don't know."
"Please? I wouldn't ask if it wasn't serious, Chris." I chew on my nails, praying he will relent.
"Fine." He huffs. "I'll be there in a few minutes. If this gets me shot by a coworker, you're going to play nurse… no matter how pissed off he gets."
"Deal. See you in a few."
"Yeah." He laughed. "See you in a few, Mia."
I toss my phone on the desk and lean back in my chair. This time when I find my sister, I’m going to drive her ass to rehab myself. She won't inflict any more pain on me or my parents. I shuffle out of the office, fully expecting to see Brady still outside, but the bar is eerily silent. Slipping behind the bar, I grab two glasses and set them on the bar top. Hurrying to the back, I throw together two sandwiches and carry them out to the front. Just as I step around the bar, I find Chris sitting on a stool, staring down at his phone.
"Glad you came." I smile when he looks up at me. "Made you some lunch. Figured you were heading into work after this, so feeding you is a must."
Chris is a good-looking guy. His sister, Lorelei, is married to Kerrigan, one of the sergeants at the police department. He moved out here from Atlanta after she was kidnapped and nearly lost her life. That mess nearly broke us all, but most of all—it fucked with Brady’s head. He felt responsible for the whole ordeal, even though he couldn’t have prevented it. People are going to do things, good or bad, no matter what you do—something I've learned the hard way.
"So…" Chris gives me his panty killer grin. "What has me risking my balls?"
I snort, sliding onto the stool beside him. "Seriously? You're still stuck on what happened six months ago? I'm pretty sure your face healed, and Brady apologized."
When Lorelei went missing, Chris came here with Aiden, his best friend and now fellow officer at Crossroads. He had a bit too much to drink and when a customer got handsy with me, Brady lost his shit—but Chris was the one to beat the stranger to a pulp. Brady took his reaction as a threat and had words with Chris later. Truth be told, I could see myself dating someone like Chris and that thought scares me. I haven't wanted to be with anyone since Brady. I know he is interested in me. He hasn't kept his feelings to himself and has asked me on dates a few times since he got here. I've always told him it wasn't the right time, but now, looking at him, I am beginning to wonder why I've said no.
"Earth to Mia." Chris cocks an eyebrow at me, grinning like a fool. "You alright there?"
"Yes… sorry." I blow out a breath, trying to compose myself.
He nods, "Good. Then tell me what has you in knots."
I look into his eyes and see concern reflecting in the dark orbs staring back. I take a deep breath again and sigh as I muster up the courage to tell him my problems. "I'm about to share something with you that no one—except Brady—knows about. I've kept it to myself out of embarrassment, and from a need to separate myself from the mess this brings. But I can't keep my head buried in the sand anymore. Chris… I need your help to locate someone."
Chris cocks his head and scrunches his brows. "Locate someone?"
"Yeah." Closing my eyes, I say, "My sister, Melanie."
I’ve seen and done things that still haunt my dreams. I don’t deserve a normal life—I don’t deserve her.
When I walked away, I destroyed us, fracturing any hope of a future.
But when her past rears its ugly head, I’ll do whatever I can to help her, even if it means telling her mine.
Because a life without her in it… isn’t a life at all.
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